Owings Mills falls to state champs in semis

STEVENSVILLE — STEVENSVILLE - Dave Jacovsky won a key match by handing the state's No. 1-ranked wrestler at 103 pounds, Kent's Artie Kaehler, his first loss of the season, but his Owings Mills team couldn't follow suit, losing, 35-25, in yesterday's Class 2A-1A state duals semifinals at Kent Island High School.

Kent County (14-1), last year's state runner-up, earned another shot at defending duals champion Northern of Garrett County (14-1), a 33-20 winner over No. 15 Hammond (10-5) of Howard County. In the rematch for the state title, Kent dethroned Northern, 42-27. Kent's championship victory was highlighted by Trey Kohl's overtime pin of state champion Brandon Kamp (152).


The surprise of the day was No. 10 Owings Mills (20-3), which wasn't expected to seriously challenge a talented Kent squad that beat teams such as No. 1 McDonogh and No. 2 Curley over the past two seasons.

Few thought Jacovsky (29-2) could beat Kaehler. One of Jacovsky's two losses came to Atholton's Doug Ramsey, who was a 13-3 loser to Kaehler (23-1). But Jacovsky pulled off the upset, 4-1.


Then, there was Josh Hamilton, 5-4 on the varsity team, who nearly scored a first-period pin in his 125-pound match with Kent's Brian Fox. A third-place finisher at the state tournament last year, Fox survived when time ran out in the first period and won, 7-6, on a stalling point in the third period.

"Hamilton had him stuck, if the ref would have called the pin," Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker said. "I thought my guys wrestled great today."

But the Eagles were down, 9-3, after four bouts, including a 6-5 loss by Mike Cooper (112) to Kent's Pat Redman. But after a pin by Clayton Arnold (130), who is 29-0, and a 13-0 decision by Neil Savel (135), Owing Mills led 13-9.

"We felt great at that point. All the momentum had shifted our way," said Eagles wrestler Neal Saval, who won his match at 135 pounds. "We had the definite advantage at that point."

But Kent took the next two bouts and the lead, 20-13, on a technical fall by state champion Mikey Blake (140) and a pin by Russell Conrad (145), who overcame a 2-0 deficit. Owings Mills held its final lead, 24-23, after sandwiching a forfeit to Adam Beytin (152) and a pin by Kevin Garmzaban (171) around a decision by Kent's Trey Kohl, but that's when Kent got expected pins from state runners-up Joey Kirwan (189) and Willie Leonard (heavyweight) to pull out the victory.

Hammond fell behind, 18-0, after the first five bouts, including a pin by Northern of Garrett's Blake Huber (112) and wins by Adam DeWitt (103) and Darric Kamp (130). Hammond also suffered two overtime losses, as state champion Pete Stein (119) edged Russell Tebeleff in the tiebreaker and Dan Ganoe (125) beat Jimmy Davis, 5-3, on a takedown.

Hammond closed within 18-11 after a technical fall by Joey Killo (145) and decisions by Jarrell Graham (135) and Ryan Mackin (140). Mackin improved to 31-1 by defeating Jeremiah Guard, a fifth-place state finisher last winter, 6-4.

That set the stage for the 171-pound match between Hammond's Scott Wallace (171), a fourth-place state finisher last year, and defending state champ Mark Wolf, who overcame a 3-2 deficit in the second period to win, 6-4.


Hammond needed a technical fall and a pin to pull out the win, but Pat Wallace (189) edged Bill Rodenheaver, 7-5, to make it an insurmountable 27-20 margin.